Draghi points finger at climate change following Marmolada disaster

(EurActiv, 5 Jul 2022) The government has to take steps to ensure that what happened on the Marmolada glacier does not happen again, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Monday as he arrived at the site of the accident, now a symbol of dangers posed by climate change.

A ice block of 200 metres – the equivalent of two football fields – slipped in the Italian Alps, at the border of Trentino and Veneto, on Sunday. The avalanche caused at least seven fatalities and eight injuries, while 14 remain missing, said President of the Trento province Maurizio Fugatti.

The search for possible survivors continues, but adverse weather conditions in the area make the task increasingly difficult.

“Certainly, there are some unforeseen aspects in this tragedy, but it most certainly depends on the deterioration of the environment and climate change,” Draghi told reporters in Canazei the day after.

Draghi said the government must adopt measures to ensure that “what happened is unlikely to happen in the future or can even be avoided.”

EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans also urged a response to climate change, which, as the Italian tragedy shows, is causing “victims almost every day now.”

The disaster on Marmolada is one example of Italy’s climate risk. Record temperatures and a change in rainfall distribution have led the Po, a main Italian river, to dry up in many places, and several regions have issued drought emergencies in recent weeks.

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EurActiv, 5 Jul 2022: Draghi points finger at climate change following Marmolada disaster